April Cascades Neighborhood Watch Newsletter

Click on link below to view our April newsletter:

NWNewsletter201704

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Getting in Just Before the End of the Month

Well March is about to come to an end.

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is almost 25% complete.

I did miss posting a new blog entry the past two weeks but to make up for that I posted last month’s neighborhood watch newsletter and I’m posting this entry a day early. (It works for me.)

Last week was pretty busy.

On Tuesdays I have Field Trainer Member (FTM) training at the Police Department.

That training itself usually doesn’t last too long and on the 21st it only lasted an hour. We do however usually patrol after that training and on that day we patrolled until two and a half hours after the training.

Since we were leaving town on Wednesday, the 22nd I made an effort to get three visits to the gym (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) before we left.

We spent most of three days on a trip to Bentonville, Arkansas.

Since it is a six-hour drive we spent most of Wednesday and Friday on the road.

The purpose of the trip was to meet Mandy’s sister Gerri and her husband Rick.

It was spring break for Gerri and they had planned to visit the Crystal Bridges art museum in Bentonville.

People who know me would probably be shocked to hear me say that an art museum is worth a six hour drive (each way.)

This museum however was worth the trip.

The museum is unusual in that it contains exclusively American art.

The museum ground also has a Frank Lloyd Write house that was originally built in New Jersey.

The house was taken apart piece by piece and transported to Bentonville where it was put back together.

After our return drive on Friday, we went to the Knights of Columbus fish fry at church.

Finally on Saturday morning I helped sell raffle tickets for the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (CPAA.)

This week has also been busy.

It’s only Thursday yet I have already made my weekly goal of five gym visits.

I also have volunteered on Monday, Tuesday (FTM training) and Wednesday.

I will be volunteering again tonight to set up and assist with the Citizen Police Academy (CPA) class.

Mandy is attending this CPA class.

Besides all that, this week I’ve been working on our second monthly neighborhood watch newsletter.

Once it is published, I’ll post it on this blog.

So far the only thing I have on tomorrow’s schedule is mowing the back yard.

Saturday morning I’ll be once again selling raffle tickets for the CPAA.

 

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First Ever Cascades Neighborhood Watch Newsletter

Click on the link below to view the March, 2017 Neighborhood Watch Newsletter.

NWNewsletter201703-1

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A Long and Exciting(?) Weekend

Well here is it Monday. My updates keep moving later each week.

This week I “kinda sorta” have an excuse.

I was pretty busy on both Friday and Saturday, as I’ll explain below.

I guess I don’t have any excuse for not making an update Sunday (yesterday) except I was just tired after the previous two days.

Friday was the long day.

I left home at 6:30 AM and didn’t get home until about 9:00 PM.

This was the day I was to be an actor in an active shooter training session.

I acted in three different scenarios.

For each of those scenarios the class was split in two so we acted a total of six times.

In both of the first two scenarios I was a “good guy” being held hostage by the “bad guy.”

In the third scenario I was one of two “bad guys.”

This meant that I was going to be shot by one or more “good guys.”

The officers were using special guns, which shot simulated bullets.

These bullets were similar to a paint ball covered with a plastic shell. The plastic shells are made to burst and release the “paint” when it strikes something.

All the participants were wearing a mask with goggles.

The “back guys” also wore a vest.

During the two scenes in which I played a “bad guy” I was shot several times. Most of the shots hit the vest.

At least five shots hit me other places.

I had two hits on my back, and one hit each on my arm, head, and neck.

The shots stung at first but I really didn’t feel the hits after the first minute or two.

After the second scene the instructors were asking everyone if they were OK.

They made a comment about the shot on my neck.

It was only when I felt it that I realized it was swollen and bleeding.

The instructors thought that a piece of the plastic shell or the paint ball was lodged under my skin. They thought we should have the paramedics check it out.

The Denton Fire Department responded and looked at my neck.

They told us that I would need to go to an emergency room to have the swollen area opened up and the foreign matter removed.

I was given the option of being transported in the ambulance or being driven by an officer or volunteer.

I didn’t feel I needed to ride in the ambulance, so we opted to go in one of our Citizen Patrol cars.

The next option I was given was related to which ER I wanted to go to.

I decided that Legacy ER and Urgent Care in Frisco was the best choice since that is where The City of The Colony takes their employees for Workers’ Comp related treatment.

(Even though I am a police department volunteer, I am covered by the city’s Workers’ Comp.)

Another volunteer drove me from Denton to the ER / urgent care facility in Frisco.

As we were on our way we heard on the radio that the sergeant over the volunteers was on his way to the same facility on “special assignment.”

We knew he was on his way to meet us.

We spent a couple of hours in this facility getting X-rays and a CT scan of my neck.

Finally we were told that they could not remove the foreign matter because it was to close to the Carotid artery.

They were going to transfer me to Medical Center of Plano so a vascular surgeon could perform the required procedure.

They were going to send me in an ambulance.

Both Legacy ER and the ambulance alerted the hospital that I was coming.

They were told I had a gun shot wound in the neck made by a simulated bullet.

Upon arrival at Medical Center of Plano I was met by at least 15 people lined up in the trauma room.

My treatment there was very anti-climatic.

Once they examined the wound they decided there was no foreign matter. The bump on my neck was merely a hematoma.

So finally sometime after 8:00 PM I was released from the hospital and I arrived home around 9:00 PM.

After that long Friday, Saturday was also a little busy.

Saturday morning our Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association hosted a regional meeting of CPAAA’s.

That meeting wasn’t as exciting as the previous day’s training by it made for a long day.

I can’t really say I did not much on Sunday since we went to church Saturday evening.

I did get a trip in to the gym before I collapsed that afternoon and evening.

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My Thoughts on This Week’s Training

Well here it is Sunday again. I didn’t get this written on Friday but at least it’s still the weekend.

This coming Friday I’m going to be an “actor” at an active shooter training session.

It’s about that training session that I’d like to share my thoughts.

First of all, I think it’s sad that we live in a society in which our law enforcement agencies have to train for such a situation.

Secondly, I hope and pray that these police officers never need to put this training into practice.

Thirdly, I pray that if they do need put this training into practice, they have the courage to perform those duties.

Finally, I also hope and pray for any of those officers that they can deal with the stress that they will surely come after such a situation.

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The Weekend Almost Got Away

Woops!

Here it is Sunday already and I haven’t updated my blog yet.

The weekend got away.

Last Saturday we sent to an “On Stage Alaska Travel Show.”

We had seen the show last year and had thought that we might be able to go this year.

Following the show we made an appointment to talk about a trip.

As of this writing we have “an hold” on a 20-day land and sea trip in September.

We are going back on Monday to put down a deposit.

Christopher spent last Sunday night and Monday (President’s Day) with us since PASAR (day care at school) was not available.

Since last July I’ve been trying to start a neighborhood watch group in our area.

Our first meeting in July had 14 attendees. Since the attendance has dropped drastically.

Our last meeting was scheduled a week ago Thursday.

I had only one RSVP and that person ended up needing to stay home to care for his kids.

After that meeting (or lack thereof) I spoke to Officer Lee at the TCPD.

He suggested that we change the meetings to quarterly (which I already had) and to publish a monthly newsletter.

So yesterday I began working on a newsletter.

I’m hoping to have it completed on or shortly after the first of the month.

Until next week …

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Third Post this Month

Another week in the books.

Do you believe it?

This is my third blog update this month.

This week started with the annual TCPD Awards Banquet on Sunday.

In previous years this banquet was paid for out of the PD budget.

This year The Colony Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (TCCPAAA) paid for the banquet.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the officer of the year award.

This year’s recipient was Officer Brian Lee.

Officer Lee is one of two Community Resource Officers. (The other CRO is Office Kyle Koiner.

Among their duties The Community Resource Officers are responsible to the department’s social media communication.

They are also responsible for the Citizen Police Academy, which is presented twice each year.

This past year Officer Lee was assigned the task of harnessing resources of the TCCPAAA for use as Volunteers in Policing (VIP.)

The most visible part of the VIP program is the Citizen Patrol.

This week the Citizen Patrol program took delivery on its third patrol car.

We currently have a total of 17 volunteers have completed the training required to act as a “Citizen Patrol Navigator.”

Ten of those volunteers have also completed the additional training required to be a “Citizen Patrol Driver.”

We also have a total of seven “Field Trainers” who have been busy adding to these numbers.

The success of the VIP program was a big factor in Officer Lee’s winning of the Officer of the Year award.

Congratulations Officer Lee.

Between the awards banquet, Citizen Patrol, and the TCCPAAA meeting my volunteer hours this week totaled 12.5.

On a different subject, this was the first week that I was able to make my goal of five visits to the gym.

Those visits helped me “remember” a number of muscles, which I had apparently forgotten I had.

Until next week…

 

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Back to the Gym but Otherwise a Quiet Week

Well, last Sunday (Super Bowl Sunday) I said I was going to try to make an update today (Friday.)

I guess miracles never cease because here I am.

Not only that, but I also filed my income tax last Sunday.

Overall, this has been a somewhat quiet week.

The biggest news is that I was able to go back to the gym after quite a hiatus.

About four weeks ago my allergies got really bad resulting in a bad cough.

It took two trips to the doctor and several prescriptions to bring me back.

Even now I still have a little bit of a cough.

Monday was my first trip back and I did one-half of my usual cardio program.

Today I was able to get through about three-fourths of my usual strength program.

In between I was also able to get a couple of walks in.

I also volunteered on three days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) this week.

I’m looking forward to this Sunday evening when I’ll be helping with annual The Colony Police Department (TCPD) awards dinner.

In the past the police department has paid for this dinner out of their budget.

This year Chief Coulon challenged the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association to raise the funds to pay for the dinner.

Last October we held a “Hoe Down” to raise money for the dinner.

We were able to raise more than enough money to pay for the dinner.

Once again, I’m going to try hard to make another update next Friday.

Until then…

 

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Long Overdue

OK, a couple of months ago I resolved to try to update this blog weekly.

I even created a weekly “to do” on my phone.

Obviously I’ve failed miserably in fulfilling that resolution.

So OK, let’s try starting fresh.

My weekly “to do” is set for Friday, so if I don’t get to it on Friday, I still have the weekend to write something.

Let’s talk about this last week.

Last Saturday (1/28) we attended the Bald Eagle Watch at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

This was my sixth year attending this. It was Mandy’s fifth year.

We saw more eagles this year than any of the previous five years.

I did get some pictures but they are not as good as those I got two years ago.

I keep hoping for that “National Geographic” shot of the eagle grabbing a fish out of the lake. I’ll keep trying.

If you are interested in my pictures you can find them at http://www.chuck-brennaman.com/HomePage/2017_Photo_Albums/Pages/2017_Bald_Eagle_Watch.html

My pictures from 2015 can be found at http://www.chuck-brennaman.com/HomePage/2015_Photo_Albums/Pages/Bald_Eagle_Watch.html

This past week I attended the funeral of Richard Sandoval.

Richard was a fellow volunteer at The Colony Police Department and was active in the local American Legion.

He was a great guy and I don’t remember ever seeing him without a smile.

The Police Chief, one of the Assistant Chiefs and several officers attended the funeral.

We had a total of six police cars escorting the procession from The Colony to the DFW National Cemetery.

One of our Citizen Patrol Cars was also in the procession.

Other than that I volunteered four days for a total of 13.5 hours.

On Monday I helped sell T-Shirts and collect donations at Chick-Fil-A for Detective Walker of the Little Elm Police Department.

Most of the other time was spent patrolling.

I’m going to try to make my next update this Friday.

If anyone is actually reading this and I don’t make that update, call me out on it.

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The Hurrider I Go the Behinder I Get

Well we returned from our trip to the Smoky Mountains this week. I am still processing my pictures from the trip.

I’m hoping in the next couple of days I’ll finish that processing and get the pictures posted. Once that is done, I’ll be updating this blog along with my camping blog.

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